Formerly the capital of Pakistan, Karachi now shines as the economic centre of the country. This city, an ever-expanding territory of 3,500 square kilometres, acts like a magnet for workers across the provinces. Those going to see its sights can venture to Jinnah International Airport, the country's largest port of entry. It is named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern-day Pakistan. It hosts around 15 million passengers every year, recording more than 100,000 aircraft movements.
With one terminal divided into two concourses, Jinnah Airport manages domestic and international flights that land on and depart from either of the two runways that measure respectively 11,155 ft. They have the capacity to handle 15 flights per hour and accommodate simultaneous landing and take-off. Runway 25R and 25L are particularly equipped with an Instrumental Landing System (ILS) to guide landing aircraft safely under poor weather and low visibility conditions.
What to see & do
When visiting Karachi, one will find a number of destinations to check out. Visitors can start with the Quaid-i-Azam Mausoleum, a curiously shaped monument to Pakistan's first leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Set at the top of a stepped pyramid, this white marble structure features a traditional style with a square form and supports a semi-circular dome. There is also the Mohatta Palace near the Ziarat of Abdullah Shah Gazi. This fine British Raj building was once the residence of Jinnah's sister Fatima that was restored in 1999. A number of exhibits can be seen here, which feature the history of the country's distinctive artistic heritage.
For more culture, one can then venture to the National Museum of Pakistan, which includes a display of a two million-year-old Stone Age axe from the Potwar Plateau. There is also an interesting section outlining the early Arab settlements of Debal and Mansura. The Freedom Movement gallery, on the other hand, has a collection of photographs and newspaper articles on the Independence movement. The Ziarat of Abdullah Shah Gazi can also be visited in the area, a green-domed shrine dedicated to a ninth-century Sufi. Beneath a shrine is a freshwater spring, which is said to have mystical healing qualities.
The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) Museum is also worth stopping at, due to its impressive outdoor displays. Over 30 aircraft are showcased, including an Indian Gnat captured in 1965. Those going around will also find the Holy Trinity Cathedral, an example of British Raj architecture. This Anglican church has a number of fascinating plaques to check out, which were erected in memory of British soldiers who died in various campaigns. Another fine example of British Raj style can be seen in St Patrick's Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church. There is also the Anglican St Andrew's Church to visit as well, for those who want to visit more museums.
How to get around within Karachi
With an extensive public transportation network, tourists can find it going around a relatively manageable experience. Various options can be found here, such as buses, minibuses, and couches. The Pakistani Railways also has two major stations here, as well as tramways. Taxis also make their way around, as well as a number of ferries plying the waterways.
How to get there
Jinnah International Airport is within reach via various airlines. Some of them are: Air Arabia, Airblue, Air China, Air Indus, Al-Naser Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, flydubai, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Princely Jets, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Shaheen Air, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, Taban Air, UTair Aviation, and Vision Air International.
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